Ski Team Spends Winter Break in Montana
Big Sky offered the alpine team some ideal racing conditions
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SNC’s alpine ski team had a rough start to their season after competing against other college racers in Big Sky, Montana, over winter break. Although the team was eager to leave Tahoe to ski in better conditions, their lack of good training days affected the team’s overall success.
Five members of the team accompanied by Coach Branko Zagar arrived at Big Sky after a grueling 17-hour car ride in one of SNC’s vans. Due to bumpy course conditions, the team did not finish as many races as they planned to, but managed to compete in one slalom and two giant slaloms.
Junior Mihaela Kosi said, “I finished one race in 23rd place. Francesca Curtolo finished in 34th place, Anton Waller in 34th place, Luka Gobec in 62nd, 59th, 46th and 45th place.”
Although there has been plenty of snow in the Tahoe area recently, the conditions have been hard to train in. The team’s inability to get some solid training days under their belt before the race, in addition to enduring the long ride to Montana, may have resulted in their underperformance in Big Sky.
“Tahoe has not been the best for training because recently there has been too much snow, so Montana and Utah were two tough races,” said skier Anton Waller. “But I think we all gained a lot from going there and just skiing on good snow.”
Although the team faced some pretty stiff competition in Montana, they were happy to gain more experience competing against racers at such a high pressure level. “We competed with a few former World Cup skiers. We can always learn something new from them,” Kosi said.
Kosi’s teammate Luka Gobec added, “In Big Sky, we raced some NCAA racers, which was pretty hard. Those racers have more than 100 days of skiing so far.”
Now back in Incline Village, the team is training daily. “We train every morning at Diamond Peak,” Kosi said. “Everyone improves from practice to practice, and we are pushing each other to our limits.”
If Diamond Peak’s conditions aren’t right for the skiers to set up a course, then they free ski. “The most important thing is that we are in touch with the snow,” Kosi said.
Despite the initial setbacks the skiers faced at the beginning of their season, they remain confident that this will be a successful season for them.
“The team is a group of excited skiers with good team spirit, and I am confident that we will have a great season,” Waller said.